A series of 20 band concerts that reached an estimated 23,500 Orange County second-graders came to a bright and brassy conclusion last week at Irvine Junior High School in Garden Grove.
The free concerts, which began in January, were sponsored by the Orange County Philharmonic Society as one of its Youth Music Programs and performed by the 16-member Disneyland Band. Each program introduced the children to band instruments by sight and sound, then traced the history of the American band from Gay '90s tunes and circus marches to Dixieland jazz to "Stars and Stripes Forever."
For most of the young listeners, the highlight came when a surprise guest appeared to conduct the musicians in their red, gold and white uniforms. Although he is unsung in music circles, the children were quick to recognize the large-eared conductor--Mickey Mouse.